M Shadows was interviewed by Loudwire while Avenged Sevenfold were on tour in South America and talked about the biggest challenge in putting together ‘Hail To The King’, the nicest pay off from it so far, the inspiration behind ‘Shepherd Of Fire’, people who inspire their song-writing, bringing HELLYEAH and Adrenaline Mob on the Shepherd Of Fire Tour, what reaction songs off ‘Hail To The King’ have been getting live, Avenged Sevenfold’s fourth single, how ‘This Means War’ came together, Hail To The King: Deathbat, playing the ‘Rise Above’ festival, his thoughts on Metallica’s ‘Lords of Summer’ and more.
Have to ask, ‘Shepherd of Fire’ has been out a while now. Any thoughts on what might be next?
MS: Definitely ‘This Means War’ — when we sent the record to people the song originally they wanted was that one first. We wanted ‘Hail to the King’ first then they wanted it second, then we wanted ‘Shepherd of Fire’ second, so, it’s going to be the third single. Now, as a band, do we want to go with a ballad fourth? We’re not sure between the two ballads on the record what we’re going to chose. ‘This Means War’ is definitely going to be the next single
The ‘Hail to the King: Deathbat’ game that you guys are working on — I know you’re a big fan of storytelling games. Tell me a little bit about how the game came together and your involvement in it.
MS:We were just looking for another medium on being able to be creative. Music videos, they just don’t cut it anymore. The way that bands were able to express themselves, they don’t really exist. There’s a lot of — either you’re on Facebook or Twitter just annoying everybody about what you’re eating or what country you’re in and I just hate all that stuff. So one day when we were on a bus to a show in Southeast Asia about two years ago, I saw everyone on their phones and they were all playing games.
I said, ‘Man we can make a game!’ And that’s what kind of kicked this off. Besides that I wanted to write a triple A game completely separate from the band. I was really into doing a game. So through all these meetings and things we had put together with GDD, which is a game document design, we decided to start building this game two years ago. Now we’re close on doing a very expansive mobile video game, which is big enough to where it should be on a console but we’re squeezing it into a mobile platform. Hopefully our fans dig it and mostly, I hope gamers dig it. It’s a good game, it’s not just for fans of the band.
I read in another interview about it, eight original songs, nine old tracks. Kind of a mix of things in there. Can you talk about coming up with some of the music?
MS:We’ve been trying to downplay the music part because with the way our band sounds we don’t expect even half of our fans to get it or to understand it. It’s purely throwback video game music. A lot of 8-bit sounds but a lot of instrumentals. We made songs that reminded us of our youth playing ‘Castlevania’ or ‘Mario Brothers,’ ‘Zelda.’ So we made nine songs, which are original songs that we put together. They’ll be in the game. I’m sure we’ll do some sort of packaging where you can buy those songs with ‘Hail to the King’ or whatever. Or you can just play the game and listen to them. There’s nine songs, but we’re trying to downplay it. I don’t want everyone to think nine new songs, then they hear it and it’s a bunch of digital music.